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Dec 11, 2019 8:43 AM
Ariadne in Lucidity
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"Not at all. Do you know how quickly you can move with your shadows? Or we can take the scenic route and go slowly, I suspect. Gives me more time to explain."

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"I kind of just politely ask them to take me to a place, I stand on the shadow, and away I go. I could probably ask it to follow you if that works?"

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"Should, especially if I'm not going at my top speed. But I did also promise to explain things to you - I guess it depends on if you want that while we're heading out or after we get there."

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"Yeah, I think I'm only fast when I'm doing the melting into shadow thing. And I don't know how to long distance that. Heck, I don't know how I did that earlier. I guess chatting while we move is good for me."

Mentally, she calls out to a shadow, this one larger and more inky, it gloms onto her feet and shins fully. She pets it lightly, thinking calming thoughts to just follow Lianne, straightening up to look at her expectantly.

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She'll start to glow gold gently, and rise into the air, orienting herself for the light-limed mountains.

"Flying's faster," she explains, then sets off at a gentle pace, speeding up slightly if it turns out Ariadne can keep up - and slowing down if she can't.

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The shadow flits easily at pace, this particular one seems to stop, then jump forward in motion suddenly and quickly. It's uncomfortable and awkward with the constant jerking. Ariadne has to close her eyes and send thoughts of a single joltless pace to match Lianne's before the shadow starts obeying.

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"So, what's going on," she starts.

"From the basics - Earth isn't the only reality. It's at the center of a series of shells - kind of like the nucleus of an atom? - of different realities. Things get weirder the further 'up' you go. Dreams involve projecting into the Dreamlands, the first reality layer. Usually, just a few things are possible in the Dreamlands - taking your Ideal Form with practice, and a few people can alter the landscape by Dreaming. My mother is a powerful Dreamer, and created a city."

"But for some people it's different. There's - sort of threads from the fabric of reality - that fall from higher reality levels sometimes. Usually they just mess up the landscape, make things even odder around them. Sometimes they entangle around a person - which usually yanks them up a reality level or two when it happens. The entanglement brings with it the rules of higher realities. Minor magic like in the Magelands, the second reality layer. And idiosyncratic powers from the third reality layer or above, which vary person to person in nature and power, but are generally better than Magelands magic."

"I'm an entangled. My Ideal Form is what you see before you. My idiosyncratic power is controlling light, which is very convenient since I am light, like this."

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"Ok, all of that makes sense. What I don't get, is how I got here."

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"You're entangled, now. The thread would've pulled you from Earth to here."

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"Uh huh, and I have an Ideal Form, and one of those idiosyn-whatsits?"

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"An individual power, basically. And yes."

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"Alright. So, it'd be like my plant thing, or whatever's going on with the shadows now."

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"Honestly, those both sound like individual powers. Could be you have two."

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"Is that rare? Like, should I pretend to only have one because people are gonna think I'm weird? And then there's this part of my brain that is, like, absolutely bonkers because this entire thing seems bloody ace!"

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"It's not too weird? And it's not all amazing, there's monsters that sometimes come from the Idealands, and a lot of magicals are a bit... Aggressive at times. And magic use can damage your mind if you overdo it. But I think it's pretty great overall."

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"Cool. I mean, I don't need to be alienated by two whole cultures, ones enough. Honestly, anything is way better than..." The way she was living goes left unsaid, the way she would have lived, homeless, in danger, without this adventure.

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"Yeah, I get that," she says, voice a bit distant.

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Ariadne blinks an almost tear out of her eyes before it fully forms.

"Anyway, what's the name of this place we're going?"

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"The city of Vhelssi'a. Or just Vel."

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"... Right, I'll stick with Vel. Anything I should or should not do to avoid danger? I think I still have my safety knife with me!"

At the sudden thought, Ari sticks her hand in her duffel, rummages, and pulls out a very sharp, quite large knife. She brandishes it comfortably with a slightly disturbing smile on her face.

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She laughs. "Generally, try not to insult anyone, or break anything, or take things without asking about it. I can handle any fights, of course, but it's better for the landscape and my mother's patience if they never start."

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"So your basic 'don't be an asshole' vibe will work? Damn! I think I'll really like it here!" Ariadne puts away the knife and smiles widely, truly joyful in this serene moment.

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"It doesn't work everywhere; there's different warnings for going farther afield - blasphemy is a major safety issue in some places, for instance - but Vel itself is stable."

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Ariadne raises an eyebrow at that.

"Y'know, in a place where legit magic is a thing, you'd think the Jesus freaks would let up."

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"Not so much the Jesus freaks. There's the mad gods, here - it's debatable if they're divine, very powerful humans, ex-humans, eldritch abominations, or what. Some of them get mad if you insult them, so places near their territories tend to have blasphemy laws."

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